This essasy explores the controversial world of the Jacksonian Era and tries to explain the reasoning behind president Andrew Jacksonian's many bias's.

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The 1820s and 1830s in America were times of sweeping change. Jacksonian

democracy brought more power to common citizens, and engendered ideals of wide

spread liberty. Jacksonian democrats believed that they were guardians of the

Constitution, political individual liberty, and economic opportunity. Although

their beliefs did not apply to the Indians that they displaced, they were

correct in their evaluation of themselves.

Jacksonian democrats believed that they were guardians of the Constitution.

Thy believed that they upheld its principles, and defended its ideals of an

"equal" society. They took the Constitution at its face value, without reading

into it. Jacksonians believed that they defended political democracy. They

supported a government that represented all of its people, not just the wealthy.

In their minds, it was important that all white men have the right to vote, not

just the rich white men. They believed that they protected individual liberty.

Locke's natural rights were held in high esteem. Government should ensure these

rights, they thought. They believed that they propagated economic opportunity.

Upward mobility was what the land of opportunity was known for, and they

believed that was one of the better aspects of America, and should be preserved

at all costs.

Jacksonians did a good job of upholding these ideals. In July of 1830, an

act regarding the Bank of the United States was submitted to President Jackson

for signature, he flatly vetoed it on the grounds that it was not "compatible with

justice...or with the Constitution" of the United States. He believed that it was

unconstitutional for a single financial institution to enjoy "a monopoly of the

foreign and domestic exchange." Committed to the ideal of expanding the country,

he worked hard to acquire territory to hold the expanding population. Political

democracy blossomed under Jacksonian democracy. George Henry Evans, a Jacksonian

Democrat, in December 1829 wrote "The Working Man's Declaration of

Independence." He borrowed some of Jefferson's words to construct a document that looks

strikingly like Marx's manifesto. He wrote that when one government perpetrates

"a long train of abuses" it is the right and duty of the people to use "every

constitutional means to reform...such a government." This is the character of

Jacksonian democracy.

Individual liberties flourished under Jacksonian democracy. British author

Harriet Martineau visited America in 1834. What she found shocked her. "I had

seen every man in the towns an independent citizen; every man in the country a

landowner," she wrote. In Britain, the lack of free space forced men into

servitude, in a neofeudal style, working on anotherÕs land. But in America, men

were free to purchase and harvest their own land. Economic opportunity reigned

supreme. Men were free to start their own businesses. One payed for the quality

of a good, and selected from a wide market. Capitalism ran rampant. In 1837, a

dispute arose over toll bridges over the Charles River. The Charles River Bridge

had been erected over the river, and another company began to build the Warren

Bridge over it. The case reached the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roger B.

Taney found in favor of the Warren Bridge, on the premise that the proprietors

of the Charles River Bridge had been granted the right to build a bridge, and

to charge a toll, but had no other powers over the land. He found that "there is

no exclusive privilege given to them over the right to erect another

bridge...nor to prevent other persons from erecting one." This capitalistic

decision typifies Jacksonian democracy, and helped to uphold economic


However, these beliefs were not spread to the Indians. Chief Justice Marshall

decided that the Cherokee nation, along with Chickasaws, Creeks, and Seminole...
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